Vice President of Program

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $139,000
Maximum: $151,000




San Francisco
United States


While young people from low-income communities – who are disproportionately young people of color – face systemic inequities in school, in the workforce, and in life, they possess unique strengths, resilience and tremendous potential. When provided with support and resources, these young people have more opportunity to fulfill their potential and achieve success in school, work and life.  


Through a combination of mentoring and transformative experiences, Summer Search supports young people to successfully transition from adolescence into adulthood. We aim to unleash the potential of our young people while also building a toolkit for navigating and challenging systemic barriers to higher education and career opportunities.  


At the onset of a new four-year strategic plan, Summer Search is poised for its next phase of growth, innovation and impact. With a vision to foster the development of “students who fulfill their potential and lead their families and communities to thrive,” we aim to broaden our program outcomes to include education, employment, and income, expand our post-secondary support to students, and increase the size our incoming class by 50% by 2022. 

The Vice President of Program (VP) is a critical member of organizational leadership. Leading a 10-member national program team, the VP will oversee the development, codification and evaluation of Summer Search’s core program model and network-wide adoption of recent innovations. Additionally, the VP will lead the reimagining and expansion of our post-secondary programming. 

Working collaboratively across our network of five regional sites and national office, the VP will join an organization that is committed to equity, relationships, and learning and continuous improvement. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned program leader who is committed to youth-centric and high-impact programming, as well as energized to take a successful program to its next level of performance and outcomes.

Specifically, the VP will: 

Provide strategic leadership for Summer Search programming

• Oversee the design, development, delivery, and evaluation of program strategy that maximizes outcomes of Summer Search’s multiple program elements (High School Mentoring, Summer Experiences, Post-Secondary Access and Success.)

• Enhance, flesh out, and implement the organizational vision as established in 4-year strategic plan and beyond. Balance bold thinking with pragmatism, setting priorities that increase Summer Search’s capacity to deliver strong outcomes.

• Ensure that experiences and voices of students, alumni, and program staff inform programmatic direction, and that the organizational vision for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) is incorporated into all facets of the program; guide the strengthening of culturally responsive programming. 

Strengthen core program model and performance

• Ensure high-quality operations of the core program model in order to achieve measurable and replicable outcomes and maximize efficiencies of scale; establish consistent, objective program performance standards of accountability across the entire network of sites. 

• Partner with CEO, Finance, Development, regional Executive Directors, and National Program Team to develop and manage program budget; partner with development team to inform and design fundraising strategies to realize programmatic goals.

• Oversee nationally-led program functions inclusive of staff training, learning and development, systems management, data collection and reporting, and research and evaluation. 

• Provide direct supervision to 4 director-level program staff, as well as support of the entire program team; ensure ongoing national support to regional program teams.

Lead and advance new programmatic initiatives 

• Oversee the conception, implementation, operationalization, evaluation, and continuous refinement of innovation initiatives, including building models, systems, and tools necessary to grow size of programs while reducing costs of program delivery and/or to grow new revenue streams.

• Oversee the national roll-out of successful pilot programs and internal adoption and execution of initiatives at the regional site level (e.g. Group Mentoring, Post-Secondary programming.)

• Provide leadership in development of network-wide communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth.

Serve as a highly visible and collaborative leader

• Serve as subject matter expert and thought partner to practitioners in the field; distinguish Summer Search in the field of Positive Youth Development; ensure the program outcomes are leveraged for community impact. 

• Partner with marketing and development teams to raise Summer Search’s profile and secure funding.

• Foster collaboration and two-way feedback across the national program team and regional sites; ensure understanding and adoption of programmatic decisions across the entire network. 

• Leverage the board of directors as thought partners in programmatic decisions, educating the board on program opportunities and challenges, and advocating for board support as needed; serve as executive sponsor of a Board Program & Evaluation Committee.


The VP will embody Summer Search’s values and lead with high standards of excellence, spirit of curiosity, and heartfelt belief in youth-centric programming. Specifically, this hire will bring: 

• PASSION FOR MISSION: A commitment to Summer Search’s mission of unleashing students’ potential through mentoring and transformative experiences. 

• PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE: At least 15 years of work experience, including 5 years in a leadership position, inclusive of program design, implementation, management, and evaluation. Subject matter expertise in a field related to Summer Search’s mission (e.g. positive youth development, youth mentoring, post-secondary access and success) is required. Experience at a national and/or multi-site organization is strongly preferred.

• STRATEGIC ACUMEN: Ability to hold the “big picture” and understand how strategic decisions impact both staff and students. Genuine love of tackling complex program challenges.

• CHANGE LEADERSHIP: Skill in leading diverse groups of stakeholders through change processes, with the ability inspire excitement and foster a culture that embraces change and innovation. 

• EDI KNOWLEDGE AND ANALYSIS: Cultural sensitivity and humility in working with diverse and low-income populations, with an understanding of institutionalized racism and classism facing low-income communities of color. Commitment to developing self-awareness and helping teams engage around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Applied knowledge of racial/ethnic identity development in youth is a plus.

• TEAM LEADERSHIP AND PEOPLE MANAGEMENT: Track record of hiring, managing, developing, and coaching high-performing teams. Able to delegate and empower others to be successful in their roles. 



We are committed to staff learning, growth and development. Our investment includes:

• Competitive salaries. The salary for this position is 139,000-151,000.

• Medical insurance with up to 90% employer contribution

• Dental, vision, FSA, life and disability insurance plans

• 401 (K) and Employer Match up to $2,000 annually

• Generous time off including 15 vacation days, 10 sick days, 2 floating holidays, 10 company-wide holidays and a 1-week December closure. 

• Individual, local, regional and national training

• A commitment to developing leaders from within the organization.

• An organizational culture that supports staff well-being and holistic self-care

• Ample opportunities to connect with the students and communities we serve 



With a staff that cares deeply about social justice and equity, we believe that diverse perspectives and backgrounds create a rich work environment and enhance our ability to pursue our mission. 


We are committed to building an organization with raised consciousness in order to impact how we work with students, as well as how we work together as a team. 


We hope you will join us as we continue to build a diverse organization that fosters a work environment where people from all backgrounds are welcomed and valued.


Level of Language Proficiency


• Bachelor’s degree is required; MPA, MBA, or similar advanced degree is a plus. 

• Demonstrated knowledge of impact evaluation, ideally gained at an organization that has done robust evaluation work is a plus. 

• Familiarity with the Positive Youth Development framework is a plus. 

• Willingness to travel approximately 10% of time e.g. to regional sites, board meetings, conferences, donor meetings. 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply


Click here to submit a resume and targeted cover letter that answers the question, "Why are you interested in working at Summer Search?" Please address your cover letter to Nick Hutchinson, Chief Operating Officer.